Liverpool face a tense wait to find out if Mohamed Salah will extend his contract with the club, but their recent decision to bring in Luis Diaz suggests the Reds have no reason to panic
Losing the prospect Mohammed Salah to Barcelona on a free transfer in 15 months is almost too painful for Liverpool fans even think about it. But the club’s recent acquisition of Luis Diaz can paint a more positive picture of what the future holds Jürgen Klopp.
According to reports in Catalonia are the giants of La Liga make ambitious plans for the summer while Xavi Hernandez looks to strengthen his squad. At the top of his shopping list is another top striker in Salah. Erling Haland and Robert Lewandowski, who have reportedly been targeted by the La Liga giants.
Talks about Salah’s new deal have yet to be resumed since the standstill in December, The player’s agent Ramy Abbas is unwilling to return to the negotiating table until an improved offer is in place. However, with Liverpool unwilling to change their pay structure to meet Salah’s demands, a game of brinkmanship has begun.
Salah is currently making £200,000 a week at Anfield but if he left on a free transfer in 2023 he could likely double his weekly earnings. He will be aware of the idea that he would be worth every penny from the perspective of other clubs given his incredible goalscoring record.
The Egyptian superstar is the one far and wide First League top scorer this season with 20 goals and another 10 assists for his teammates. In total, he has scored 153 goals in 239 games since his £38m move from Roma in 2017.
But with their star attacker turning 30 in June, Liverpool have a responsibility to look to the future, as they did in signing long-term successors Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane. And few would argue that signed players Luis Diaz and Diogo Jota have proved just as effective in attack.
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Finding a player who could match Firmino’s off-the-ball pace of work, contributing goals and assists, would not be an easy task. But with thorough scouting, ex-sporting director Michael Edwards and Jurgen Klopp identified Jota as suitable after striking a £41million deal.
The Portuguese’s pace, stamina, work ethic and professional attitude matched the club’s ideal profile. And when he signed in October 2020, Jota was still just 23 – suggesting he had the best years of his career ahead of him.
His versatility means he can play anywhere in the front three, but his surprisingly impressive header skills make him a perfect player to use in the middle. Learning from Firmino while familiarizing himself with his new club allowed him to reach the next stage in his development – and 32 goals in two and a half seasons at the club shows an obvious improvement on his wolves days.
The Merseyside team had previously drawn up similar plans to bring Porto’s Luis Diaz to Shadow Mane in the summer transfer window Tottenham ‘s offer in January forced them to arrange a £49million transfer for the Colombian five months ahead of schedule. But Diaz’s impact on Liverpool fans and squad has been significant and has not only added quality but challenged Mane to improve his own game.
Some fans have mused whether Liverpool should show Salah the door this summer. But for now, this plan would only hurt their fortunes on the pitch as they don’t have a replacement available. If the club can find one this summer it would improve their leverage in their crunch talks with Salah. The likes of Leeds star Raphinha and Arsenal’s Bukayo Saka were mentioned Barcelona ‘s Ousmane Dembele has a worrying injury record.
Liverpool’s scouting network pulled off one of the bargains of the decade by signing Salah five years ago. And supporters can have peace of mind, knowing that Diaz and Jota’s successful arrival proved that if he decides to leave, they will get it right again.
https://www.mirror.co.uk/sport/football/news/liverpool-mohamed-salah-barcelona-transfer-26586057 Liverpool can repeat Luis Diaz's plan to allay Mohamed Salah's fears amid Barcelona interest